MrKenyon

Twitch's new VOD policy

5 posts in this topic

Hey, Raini, as a fancy-pants Twitch User, I was curious about your opinion on the new changes to Twitch's policy on VODs.  Namely: 

 

1. That VOD recordings will now only last for 14 days before being deleted permanently,

 

2. Any previously saved VODs (That aren't broken into highlights,) will be deleted after the 27th, 

 

3. Highlights can only run 2 hours tops,

 

4. Twitch retains the right to mute your VOD in a 30-minute chunk if their audio software catches a hint of any copyrighted music (Including ingame music)

 

I know you don't do much in regards to highlights or crazy-long videos, so I figure 1-3 aren't a big deal for you, but how about #4?  It seems to be causing quite an angry buzz over on Twitch.

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I think if they keep these policies, it will be the death of twitch. Or atleast, it should be.

 

In my opinion, this is an act by an administration that completely fears any litigation, doesn't respect smaller users, and instead wants to cash in on the popular ones.

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I think if they keep these policies, it will be the death of twitch. Or atleast, it should be.

 

In my opinion, this is an act by an administration that completely fears any litigation, doesn't respect smaller users, and instead wants to cash in on the popular ones.

Just watch as Twitch starts shutting down lesser known Twitch channels that plays copyright music (even if it's widely or very lesser known), but leave the other big channels that plays the same copyrighted music while playing games like Minecraft, any moba games (egh), CS:GO, or shoot even Cawadooty (and if you want to even count it: Twitch Plays Pokemon).  They'll be more than happy than to keep the ones that makes the bigger viewings, all for the keepings of the Do$h.

 

I really wish I can blame this all on the signing with Google, but alas, I'm nothing more but a Twitch viewer.

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I think that there are a number of people, especially speed runners, who will leave Twitch.tv over these changes. I personally do not like any of the changes that you mentioned, but I will be staying with Twitch.tv because I have two contracts with the site (Partnership and Subscriptions), along with an existing community of Viewers. I will say that I no longer exclusively endorse Twitch.tv when people ask me to recommend a streaming website to them. I instead suggest that they look at Twitch.tv, Hitbox.tv, and various other websites to decide what will best suit their needs.

My main issue with the VOD recording changes is that they did not give Broadcasters enough warning or time to backup their videos. Justin.tv/Twitch.tv gave us seven years to record broadcasts, but we're only given three weeks of time to back it all up before it gets deleted following this spontaneous announcement. That is an extremely unreasonable if not entirely unfeasible timetable for some. There are Broadcasters who live in countries like Canada and Japan where bandwidth useage is capped. I don't think that even three months would have been a reasonable amount of time in some cases. I think it would have been more appropriate for Twitch.tv to remove the "Save Forever" option from new recordings and give casters seven months to download/backup their past footage before it got deleted. That would be one month for every year of footage to backup.

There's also the issue of backing up all that content once it has been downloaded. Three weeks is barely enough time to order any external HDDs or whatever you might need for backing up all your videos. The process of downloading the videos for backup is also something that Twitch.tv has not done enough to educate or prepare people for on their end. They recommend youtube-dl on Github, but they don't offer any convenient or easy way to populate it with a list of broadcast downloads. If they were serious about us backing up our content, why didn't they introduce some means of automatically generating and downloading a complete list of Past Broadcasts downloads per channel?

I think that if Twitch.tv had given consideration to these issues from the Broadcaster's perspective before announcing the VOD changes, they could have mitigated a lot of the controversy associated with the change. People would have accepted this change with less drama if they had just been given the tools and time that they needed to accept it.

The automated muting system for VODs is something that I've anticipated for some time now. There are some who insist to me that the Google rumours are completely baseless, but even if that is the case, you can't deny that these changes do place Twitch.tv into a favorable position for a Google buyout. Regardless of the reasons, I do see the necessity of such a system for Twitch.tv. The issue I have is that once again, they rushed to implement something before they considered how it would affect Broadcasters. They should have created an appeal system for Past Broadcasts before they ever implemented an automated system like this; especially since it has issues flagging music/sounds that are licensed for use in the game being streamed. I have broadcasts of Final Fantasy XIV that are muted in 30 minute chunks because of ambient music within the game. The DOTA 2 Nationals were muted because the system recognized and flagged DOTA 2 music. Many speedrunners who participated in SGDQ 2014 have similarly been affected.

If I had to list what I think Twitch.tv's biggest problem is when it comes to how they run their business, it is PR. When it came to addressing the outrage from users over these changes, rather than use their own website, Twitch.tv's CEO went onto Reddit. The structure of posts on that website is nonsensical and nonintuitive. Nothing is chronological. Because of the controversy associated with these changes, nearly every reply made by the CEO was promptly downvoted, hiding it from view. This is not the way that a company should be addressing it's users.

Another example I can give of their PR/professionalism issues is the Twitch.tv Blog. Here is a link to their announcement about the maximum time limit on highlights being removed in addition to an "appeal" button being in the works for VODs. This is the official description of their "VP of Marketing & Communication" to the right of that post:
 

 

Matt recently returned from the wilderness where he sought refuge after being accused of a crime he didn't commit.


I get it, it is a joke; Ha ha ha. But it just expounds upon the criticism that many people have over staff being out of touch with the community and not taking anything seriously. I wouldn't see a VP of Marketing and Communications joking about being a felon in his "About Me" blurb on the company blog of any Fortune 500 website.

They just really need to work on PR...

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